The Nest Collection

While nosing in the shed’s cabinets to see what was neatly put away during its recent clean up, look what was found! A bucket of wood fungus, saved for some type of craft project. These have previously been glued to picture frames with moss for a very woodsy effect.

Another bucket held walnut halves, discarded by the squirrels after major digging looking for the storage spot of those fat juicy nutmeats. These halves have a beauty to them and would look good glued to pictures frames with some moss for that woodsy effect, but what wouldn’t look good with moss?

But the real find was this basket of bird’s nests, saved and moved several times for many years. It was feared that this had been tossed in one of the streamlining clean ups, but no, this is way too valuable to be released. Cars, who needs ’em, but save the bird’s nests!

Don’t they look sweet lined up on the bench?

Looks like some of the formed nests returned to the raw materials while being jostled in the basket.

This is what started the search in the shed, another leftover nest from the Killer pruning. This one was in the privet that Killer was growing into. Note the little piece of birch bark at the bottom.

The identification of which type of birds built which type of nest is not known here, but a little detective work tells what materials were used in the making. This nest is one hundred percent grasses, probably stipa tenuissima by the looks of it. The prunings are placed in the compost pile once a year. Can’t you picture the little bird pulling a long strand out of the pile to weave round and round?

Sometimes the birds use man made materials, like this string and green yarn. One year yarns were cut into small pieces and arranged on the shrubbery in hopes the birds would think them good for weaving. That needs to done again this year with some of the leftover yarn from knitting projects. Another good place to leave building materials is near the bird feeders.

Whoever constructed this nest used whole leaves as a base. Do you think it helps keep it watertight?

This one is lined with pine straw. The pine trees on the property have shorter needles than these, the purchased pine mulch must have been the source of this.

In case you don’t recognize the white item used here, it is toilet paper from one of the many times our house was ‘wrapped’ while the kids were teenagers. Those birds make good use of everything available. Little bits of feathers are still attached.

The base of this one is moss, with some twigs and a long piece of string. There is some yarn in this nest also. There is always string in the garden from tying and staking various plants. There is a pay off from not being too tidy in cleaning up, seeing how bits and pieces were used by our friends the birds.

A real engineer made this nest. The rim is still intact and is made of mud. Just like adobe, it makes for a strong nest. It may not be apparent but there is some cat fur in the middle. I collect the fur discharged by our two cats in the lint brush to put into the compost, as well as dryer lint. That would make a comfy bed for baby birds.

Now this is the photo you should take a closer look at, just click on the image, if you were not aware of that feature. A piece of plastic revealed itself to be the cellophane from a cigarette package! Who would have thought those birds would even recycle that?

An admirer of nests,


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17 Responses to The Nest Collection

  1. chuck b. says:

    Nest building is a fascinating behavior. They do it all with their little beaks and, presumably, feet. It’s just amazing. Thank you for giving us a moment of amazement this morning.

    Your home is full of interesting treasures, and your blog is pure delight.

  2. Frances says:

    chuck b….why thank you so much. I have been a little bit of a pack rat over the years, in spite of having moved a large family several times. It is fun to be able to tell the story of these ‘treasures’. Glad you enjoy it.

  3. brokenbeat says:

    what can we throw in our compost that the birds will grab on to? i’m thinking pillow filler, shredded cardboard boxes, the hair off my head when i shave it, the tape inside the cassettes we have replaced with cds or dvds, the less interesting pages of the new york times or chicago tribune, . . . what do you think?

  4. Frances says:

    brokenbeat…I would stay organic, as it is your compost pile after all. The hair is excellent, shredded newspaper, without the glossy colored pages, pillow feathers, all seem okay. Recycle the cardboard, but too bad there is not a good use for cassette tape that I can think of other than recycle it. There is enough miscellaneous plastic out there for the birds to use if they want without us adding more.

  5. chickenpoet says:

    Too bad humans, for the most part, are not as environmentally conscious as the rest of mother nature. So how old are your little treasures? Love.

  6. Frances says:

    chickenpoet…Honestly, the age of the nests is not known. The one with toilet paper has to be more than ten years old. Some are less than a year old. They have always been kept in that basket, safe and dry, is why they are still intact.

  7. Layanee says:

    Frances: I found you from Pam’s site, Digging, and am delighted by all your nests! And brooms…will keep reading!

  8. Frances says:

    Layanee…Welcome! Thanks for visiting, commenting and do keep reading!

  9. semi says:

    What a wonderful post. The garden is filled with amazing things. And as always your blog has us on out toes waiting for more. LOL semi

  10. Frances says:

    semi…thanks. Hope you toes don’t get tired.

  11. semi says:

    LOL was supposed to mean Lots of Love sorry for any confusion.

  12. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    I used to find my dog’s hair in bird’s nests. I’d brush my Borzoi outside & let the hair lie. Her hair was so soft & warm it made for luxury nests. I’m sure the birds were sad to see her go. I can’t believe there’s someone who’s a worse packrat than I am (who doesn’t live alone with 20 cats).

  13. Frances says:

    MMD…So sorry for the loss of your dog. Fur and human hair are useful for nests. Have you ever tried it to discourage moles and voles by putting around their mounds? I like to believe I am a selective pack rat!

  14. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a unique nest collection. It is such fun to see the different materials used to build them. The birds around here have an endless supply of fur from Luna to line their nests. Our previous dog was a chocolate lab and you couldn’t see his fur very easily but Luna’s reallly stands out in the cups.

    I am always amazed to see those hard Walnut shells that have been carved. People who do this must have fingers that can grip like a steel trap.

  15. Frances says:

    Lisa…Have you ever used Luna’s fur to try and deter varmints from digging? About those walnut shells, I am open to suggestions to use them some way. They are so pretty.

  16. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I have stuffed her furr into mole runs. I don’t know if it helps because they just go to a different run. Ha..

    I saw a lady use these nuts as handles on pine straw baskets she made. They were beautiful.

  17. Frances says:

    lisa…that is a good idea for the walnuts. Now about those pesky voles.

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